ALAMEDA, Calif. — Matt McCrane is ready to kick it in London.
Three weeks ago, McCrane didn’t have a job in the NFL. After signing with the Raiders, the undrafted rookie placekicker from Kansas State didn’t realize a trip across the pond to London was in his future.
“That was what I was hoping for,” McCrane said. “I grew up a soccer fan, and I knew there were some games in London. And then I got a call from the Raiders, and I didn’t actually look at the schedule until a couple of weeks ago and saw that we were playing in London.”
McCrane will be wearing his usual World Cup-style soccer cleats when he kicks for the Raiders on Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks. It’s fitting the game is at Wembley Stadium—home of some of the biggest soccer matches in the world.
The grandeur of Wembley Stadium isn’t the only thing McCrane is looking forward to.
McCrane will reunite with former Kansas State teammate Tyler Lockett and hopes to meet Sebastian Janikowski, the longtime Raiders and current Seahawks kicker, for the first time.
“It’s pretty cool, and then to play at Wembley, last week Lionel Messi was playing in Champions League on the field that we’re going to play on,” McCrane said. “On top of that, and then playing against my teammate that I played with at K-State. So I’m look forward to seeing both him and Janikowski.”
Rare Pacific appearance
The matchup between the Seahawks and Raiders is just the second in London between teams from the Pacific time zone. The Rams and Cardinals played last year in an NFC West game, with Los Angeles rolling to a 33-0 win.
Take away that Los Angeles-Arizona matchup a year ago and teams from the Pacific area playing in London are 2-3 all-time. Both wins belong to San Francisco, beating Denver in 2010 and Jacksonville in 2013.
London calling Olson again
Few players or coaches have been part of more games in London than Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Olson. He will coach his seventh game there, having gone 3-3 on previous trips with Tampa Bay (2009, 2011), the Raiders (2014), Jacksonville (2015, 2016) and the Rams (2017).
“He leads the league in London trips, so he’s going to be my tour guide,” said coach Jon Gruden, who added he doesn’t believe he’ll have much time for sightseeing.
■ Defensive end Frostee Rucker (neck) and guard Kelechi Osemele (knee) missed the team’s final practice before heading to London on Thursday. Gruden expects Osemele to be listed as questionable against Seattle.
■ Center Rodney Hudson (ankle), defensive tackle Maurice Hurst (shoulder), guard Gabe Jackson (pectoral), safety Karl Joseph (hamstring), linebacker Emmanuel Lamur (foot), Lynch (hip), and tackle Kolton Miller (knee) remain limited.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. Contact Chris Booker at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @Bookerc94 on Twitter.